Monthly Archives: August 2009


I am pleased to review my first shoe from Terra Plana’s Vivo Barefoot line: the women’s Lucy. This shoe is the Black Nappa Leather but is also currently available on the Terra Plana website in Red Suede, Off White Print Canvas, and Sky Blue Nubuck . Overall, I am pleased with the Lucy as an inconspicuous, conventional-looking, colder temperature shoe and look forward to wearing them a lot more come the cooler temperatures of fall.

With socks on, the Lucy is an incredibly comfortable shoe; not binding in any way. There is plenty of room in the toe box to happily wiggle toes while walking or not. The heel is snug without any slippage, which often happens for me with conventional shoes. The laces allow for a tight or loose fit and should accommodate a range of foot widths.

There are no uncomfortable seams within the shoe that I can feel with socks on, but with no socks, the material above the toes and on the sides may get uncomfortable after long wear as it is a little rougher than the red material surrounding the interior of the shoe that you can see.

Each Lucy shoe weighs 182 grams or 6 3/8 ounces. Picking up the shoe, it feels incredibly light. You hardly feel any weight when it is on your foot as well.

Flex / Sole
As with other Vivo Barefoot shoes, the Lucy comes with a 3 mm puncture-resistant sole. As there is no other cushioning in the shoe, the sole feels quite flexible with your hands but slightly less so while on your foot. I found that it took quite a bit of effort to flex my toes upwards with the shoes on, probably because of the construction of the upper. I also found that the upper creased quite a bit while flexed, which was easily felt on the top of my foot.

Support / Insole
The Lucy comes with an insole and no other support within the shoe itself. I found that the insole felt like ‘too much shoe’ so removed it the first day they arrived. With no arch support of any kind, they make for a comfortable barefoot alternative shoe.

Barefoot Feel
The 3 mm sole does not lend to heel striking at all. I found that my foot rolled the way it usually does with no shoes on and there was plenty of room for my toes to spread while walking. I have noticed that walking in the Lucy is louder than being barefoot as the sole slaps on the ground before the walking stride is completed. I do not think that wearing the Lucy shoe affects my walking gait, it just seems to be louder than usual.

There is not a lot of grip on the sole of these shoes, which makes them very comfortable to walk on smooth, hard surfaces, but I would not want to negotiate any kind of slippery surface in them.

The construction and materials of the Lucy does not lend well to the breathability of the shoe. However, I found them very warm and pleasant to wear in cooler temperatures because of this. I am very much looking forward to wearing them more often on walks outside in the cooler temperatures of the fall.

Quality of Materials / Manufacturing
The quality of materials and manufacturing of these shoes is excellent. The stitching, of which there is a considerable amount, is meticulous and without error. The material looks sturdy and I expect will last a long time.

Water Resistance
Your feet would probably get wet wearing the Lucy shoe if you were to stand in a puddle more than an inch deep for a while, however, walking in the rain was very pleasant in these shoes. I was extremely happy that after walking in a normal, spring rain for half an hour, my feet were still dry and warm. My socks were not damp at all.

I usually wear a European size 38 shoe and received a size 39 in the Lucy, as recommended on the Vivo Barefoot website to choose one size larger than usual. This is definitely the right size for me as a 38 would be too small and significantly reduce the wiggle room my toes have. Although, I don’t have excessively wide feet, I find them very comfortable in the width as well.

On the Terra Plana website, they are currently listed at $125 USD, plus shipping.

I think the Lucy shoe looks sharp in black with red accents. They have a very conventional look to their design, thus lending to total inconspicuousness as a barefoot alternative shoe.

Break-in Period
I did not find any break-in period necessary for this shoe; it was comfortable right out of the box. They might get looser as I wear them more, but due to their study construction, I think that may take several months of wearing.

Shoe care
These shoes were sprayed with shoe protector as soon as they arrived and worn outside. The leather is easy to wipe clean if they get dirty, as is the non-leather material used in its construction. I would not recommend washing them in the washing machine, much like most conventional shoes.

My feet were always warm when wearing these shoes, even during the rain. I would not, however, recommend wearing these shoes on excessively warm days if you already have usually warm feet.  I think they will be the perfect shoe for cooler fall and spring temperatures.

Due to their conventional look, the Lucy shoe is perfect for casual or business-casual environments. As they are a women’s design, I don’t know that I would wear them with a skirt but they should look great with almost any kind of pants, just as well as any other conventional shoe.

I am thoroughly impressed with the Vivo Barefoot Lucy shoe. They are comfortable, light, warm, and completely inconspicuous as a barefoot alternative shoe. I plan on wearing them to walk in light rain and in cooler temperatures. I would recommend the Lucy shoe for any casual outing or work environment.

For more information about the Lucy, you can check out the VIVOBAREFOOT website.

Originally posted on

New ‘Born to Run’ Website

Christopher McDougall and Barefoot Ted have launched the official ‘Born to Run’ website. You can check it out at It’s preliminary at the moment but I can’t wait for the whole site to come online.

There’s also a new article/interview with Christopher McDougall talking about the book and barefoot running. It’s called ‘Do fancy running shoes do more harm than good?

Barefoot Guy Spotted in my Neighbourhood!

I was walking my dogs yesterday through my neighbourhood when I spotted a definite first for me: a guy walking with NO SHOES on (who wasn’t my spouse). It was amazing!

My thoughts at this marvelous site included:

1) Does this guy often go barefoot in Cochrane?
2) Has this guy seen me and my spouse walking around the neighbourhood without shoes on and wanted to try it?
3) Did this guy read the article about me and Al in the local paper and think it would be cool to try barefooting?
4) Did this guy simply forget his shoes?
5) Is the barefoot revolution gaining more momentum?

I don’t know the answers to these questions but I’m going to keep hoping that the barefoot revolution is gaining more ground.

Newly Impressed with Vivo Barefoot Lucy Shoes

Last night, I went for a walk (with my dogs) in the pouring rain on soaking wet grass while wearing my Vivo Barefoot Lucy shoes. I was amazed, and newly impressed with the shoes, that my socks were completely dry after. I thought for sure I was going to have soaking wet feet when I got home but that was not the case. The Lucy shoes are the only pair of minimalist footwear that I own at the moment that could remotely pass as being appropriate to wear in the rain (if your intention is not get soaked through). I am extremely pleased with the construction, and new role as ‘rain wear’, of my Lucy shoes.

Miscellaneous Updates

I thought I’d post some miscellaneous updates:

In case you’ve been wondering about my running progress, there hasn’t been any… Yet. After my last running experiment, I did a bunch of travelling which turned out to be pretty hard on my back injury so I’m laying off the running for now and will probably try again in September. I am walking everyday (in minimalist footwear only) and started swimming a bit to try to gain back some core strength (in the hopes that running will be easier when I start that again).

I have a pair of Soft Star moccasins that I’m trying out to review for the Living Barefoot site. So far, they are very comfortable (although my spouse isn’t very keen on the look of them).

Hopefully I’ll get to try out some other barefoot alternative footwear for review as well. I’m hoping for some Sockwas and Feelmax shoes to try.

Al and I are working on the Living Barefoot Podcast Show Episode 4 and hope to have it released by the end of August.

That’s all for now. I’ll update more as it develops.